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SFHA welcomes Scottish Labour Housing Commission proposal to increase supply of social housing

The report calls for 12,000 social homes to be built each year and also proposes longer-term investment for affordable housing.

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The Scottish Federation of Housing Associations (SFHA) has responded to Scottish Labour’s Housing Commission report by welcoming its ambition to increase the supply of social housing after the current parliament ends in 2021.

The report calls for 12,000 social homes to be built each year and also proposes longer-term investment for affordable housing.

Polly Jones, Head of Membership and Policy, SFHA, said: “We welcome the ambition shown by Scottish Labour’s Housing Commission report, particularly its call to increase the supply of social housing from 2021.

“While, the current programme to build 50,000 affordable homes by 2021 is on track, Scotland is far from securing the supply of housing it needs. With 167,000 people on waiting lists for social housing across Scotland, 500,000 homes lost though Right to Buy, and rents in the private rented sector £100 more per week on average than in social housing, developing more affordable homes must be a priority.

“We also welcome the commission’s proposal to explore longer-term investment for affordable housing. Investment should be longer-term, instead of fluctuating with parliamentary cycles.

“We will work with all parties to ensure the next housing programme delivers the homes that the people of Scotland need. However, there is still uncertainty about government investment once the current programme is complete, and many housing associations have put development plans for post-2021 on hold as a result. As a sector, we do not want to risk losing jobs, skills and momentum when we are, at last, turning the corner and beginning to increase affordable housing supply.

“With continuing ambiguity around Brexit, a government commitment to developing more affordable housing post-2021 would give Scotland a crucial social and economic boost in these uncertain times.”